Thu 1 Dec 2005 14:17
DAY 11
That's better - a reasonable nights kip last night after the terrors of Tuesday night, which was most uncomfortable, due to roller coaster ride from gusty wind and erratic waves.
Windy for the last two days - too much for kite so have been sailing with two or three reefs in the main and the headsail poled out.  Bowling along at 6.5 -7knots, and another 1-2 if can catch a wave for some surfing.  Sun shining and is HOT.  Daily runs of 150-170miles so all going well.  Have passed the halfway mark in terms of distance sailed as have already sailed 1500 miles and now have less than 1500 to go.  Boat going well, no breakages.    Position around 15.20N, 35.20W.  (Kite has just gone up whilst writing this log - boat speed up 1 1/2 knots)
As well as betting on strange things like the fastest boat speed that will be logged, first person to be sick, etc., we also bet on daily mileage run.   Only started this 6 days ago and already Clare has been the closest on three occasions.  Overall standings on all betting items:
Clare 5 (daily runs & date to cover first 1000 miles)
Jackie 2 (Day first fish caught and daily log)
Norman (Time to reach first 500 miles)
J (daily log and fastest boat speed)
Rob 1 (Date for first 1500 miles gone)
Any other betting ideas, please send them through.
Fastest speed standing at 9.38kns by Norman
the flying fish seem have decided we are their enemy and attempt to take control of the boat by hurling themselves onto the deck in suicide attacks and even infiltrating the inner sanctum by sneaking through open hatches. tempting as it is to slip them straight under the grill we are have done our best to save them and send the message back to their leaders that we come in peace.  but they don't seem to be getting the message and had about 16 to clear up this morning but we are wondering if they represent a food source?  but they must be the fishiest smelling fish and generally seem to be pretty small (whitebait springs to mind).
Just in case you were wondering, heres a typical day in the life of us out here on the beautiful briney!
Watch system running continuously, with one person on watch (i.e. looking out for nasties and sometimes helming, if autopilot being awkward!).  During the day the watches last 2 1/2 hours and through the night go down to 2hrs.  Generally everyone's up and about by 0830-0930 ish and breakkie being eaten.  Books and suncream lotion come out shortly after this, with Norman generally doing the dishes.  He looks good in his little pinnie!  Odd jobs sorted out by Rob & Norman (normally) whilst Clare and J sort out lunch. (Quite quick after breakfast, isn't it).  Bit of cleaning done and a look at the weather systems, to decide which is best route to take.  This involves either making sure we are dodging cyclones, or trying to work out where the trade winds will set in (and remain).  Hopefully we position ourselves in the best place overall.
From 1200gmt we listen to weather forecasts on short wave radio, and pick up on the positions of the other boats, which then go on a little chart so we can see how we are doing against the nearest boats on the water.  We also radio in our position.  This takes  'till around 1500hrs, after which we then think about supper.  If the fish squad have caught anything, that goes on the menu.  Otherwise have had Thai red curry, bean stew, salmon pasta, chilli and a variety of other gourmet dishes. Clare had had 2 attempts at making bread...edible, if a little flat....if anyone has any tips on bread making or a good recipe please email!,  We then settle down for the night shifts again, with the occasional card game or magnetic darts being played.  Once it gets dark the stars have generally been fantastic and Clare is learning all the names of the constellations.
Yes Tracy, you are right, the girls did look rather interested earlier today when James Cracknell and the other chap rowed past us!  Not sure why as there's some rather serious hunks already on the boat!!
Since we starting heading west are wildlife spotting has become a bit limited, I guess further away from land and the seas are a bit rougher with the good NE winds. did have a visit from a couple of egrets who circled the boat several times as if looking for somewhere to land before heading off. later we heard they had landed on an Italian boat and stayed for a couple of days, recuperating before heading off in search of a more suitable habitat. so no more whales and dolphins but the image of the whale breaching will keep us going for a few days.
The match angling competition is finely poised with the Clare on 3 and Rob on 2 ( only fish big enough to eat are counted). Rob is sulking as his best lure -  a rather ugly looking orange plastic squid disappeared from the end of line, but never to be defeated he has adapted a sparkly pink lure (called Matt) and rather unsportingly set up a double sets of hook.....but will it be any match for Clare's metal sardine (called Tom)? this space.
Well I'm still here!
I have no idea what it is, its sunny and windy and we are not far off half way! so the navigators tell me. There is a lot of betting going on this boat and all I can say is how many of you all back home wish you were or weren't here? there is soooo much C. love Jak xxx.
Your toilet maybe level  but I bet you ain't got phosphorescence when you flush!